Earlier this week, DC finally announced the name of its premium streaming service as DC Universe, and included among the four launch titles is a new Swamp Thing television series from James Wan that could really tap into some of the darker corners of the DCU. If Titans and Young Justice: Outsiders focus on superheroes, and Harley Quinn explores villainy and the anti-hero aspect of the equation, then Swamp Thing obviously holds the potential to serve as a gateway to DC's supernatural world.
The character has long been a perennially popular comic book character, despite his considerable obscurity in comparison to the likes of Batman and Superman. Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein in the early '70s, with Bernie Wrightson developing his appearance, but it was Alan Moore's groundbreaking work with him that truly made him a fan favorite character. The 1982 cult classic movie by Wes Craven certainly didn't hurt, leading to a second feature film, a live-action television series, an animated series, and a leading role in the Justice League Dark animated movie. Now it's time to open the door for the more obscure and mature DC characters in his all-new show.
There's a Lot More to Swamp Thing than, Well, Swamps...
There is a lot about Swamp Thing that can be explored and dissected within the confines of the premium television format, with the exploration of man vs. monster reigning supreme. It will also be interesting to see which version of Alex Holland the show will feature -- the man turned into a monster, or the monster that thinks he is a man. The series will introduce Abby Holland, possibly explore the Parliament of Trees, and introduce enemies like Anton Arcane and the Sunderland Corporation.
Still, Swamp Thing represents so much more than that. The character has always been a nexus for DC's supernatural world, and this show can grant him that status once again. Given the character's status as an Earth elemental and protector, there is means to explore his role in the world. Wan's experience with multiple horror franchises has given him the experience to create a world that is both truly terrifying and also connected to a much larger universe. Swamp Thing can still be the focal point, but DC would be making a mistake not to explore how far they can go here.